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Old April 18, 2012, 02:05 PM   #26
Beefnot
 
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I got into timesharing for 'prepaid' high quality accommodations at sub-Residence Inn prices, not motel quality accommodations at sub-Residence Inn prices. It has only taken one guest cert and an exchange, and now I am already spoiled. That being said, I would take motel quality accommodations rather than coming out of pocket for a hotel.
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Old April 19, 2012, 11:13 AM   #27
izzykool
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirl View Post
We agree....

The resort is paramount. It must be impeccably clean and fresh and not feel worn at a minimum, but we seek out upscale places. I am admittedly quite particular so staying in a places sorely in need of updating is not what I am looking for on vacation. We have 3 small kids so amenities and onsite activities for them is critical and that all needs to happen in an organized manner and in an environment that is safe and clean with a highly accommodating staff.

We, too are happy to pay for a nice hotel to get all of these things if there is
no suitable timeshare in the area.

Do we make exceptions, sure, but not often and it's usually for an overnight or weekend trip.

I can pass on all the amenities, but the one thing I cannot overlook is it must be clean and fresh or I will find relaxing in that space very difficult. We prefer timeshares, when they meet our needs because having separate sleeping quarters for grown-ups and kids is important to us. Otherwise, since we also travel with grandparents, we need 3+ hotel rooms. Even with timeshares we usually use 2 units at a time for at least 3 to 4 bedrooms.

VIEW, if it's a beach destination, is also critical. I always what ocean view.front and if I can't guarantee it through an exchange or timeshare then I wo rather, again, book a hotel.

Basically, we only stay in very nicest timeshares, otherwise, we choose a hotel.

Sounds snooty, i guess ( I am contemplating deleting as I type) but its a truthful answer to the question.
I agree wholeheartedly! I call myself a hotel snob, and I'm not ashamed of it. But I also respect those that don't place as a high a priority on some of the things you mentioned as well.

My question to you would be what methods of research do you use to gather your options. Clean, modern, updated and views are my priorities as well. I would like to go to the Caribbean this year and I almost feel like I won't enjoy it as much if I don't select the right resort with the type of room that I will be comfortable in.

For me this message board has been very helpful, along with TripAdvisor and the Flyer Talk Forum also. I'm wondering if there are other helpful resource methods that I am not aware of.

How about you?
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Old April 19, 2012, 03:26 PM   #28
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Thumbs up

We select a resort base upon location, location and passed good experiences.

No studio in our selection process.
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Old April 19, 2012, 08:04 PM   #29
scrapngen
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Location is prime!! Then want a pool that is reasonably nice. (kids) Location!
2 bedroom over 1, 1 bedroom over a hotel room unless it has a GREAT pool and/or GREAT location! Usually have 4 of us traveling. Cleanliness is important, but don't need it to be fancy or "new." If I'm trading, then I want similar quality to my owned TS, though. (!) after all, I pay enough MF's

I check the official site, then reviews, (Yay, TUG!!, but also Tripadvisor and other travel sites)

With hotels, sometimes it's all about price - if it's a killer deal and otherwise I wouldn't even go, then the number 1 thing is pool, and closeness to home or cool location...
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Old April 19, 2012, 08:25 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzykool View Post
I agree wholeheartedly! I call myself a hotel snob, and I'm not ashamed of it. But I also respect those that don't place as a high a priority on some of the things you mentioned as well.

My question to you would be what methods of research do you use to gather your options. Clean, modern, updated and views are my priorities as well. I would like to go to the Caribbean this year and I almost feel like I won't enjoy it as much if I don't select the right resort with the type of room that I will be comfortable in.

For me this message board has been very helpful, along with TripAdvisor and the Flyer Talk Forum also. I'm wondering if there are other helpful resource methods that I am not aware of.

How about you?
We exchange through II and some of their resorts have enough II member reviews to be helpful- this is on their website. Mostly I check TUG reviews and google the phrase BIG GLITZ REVIEWS or whatever the name of the resort is followed by the work "reviews." Mostly this gets me TripAdvisor reviews. I also keep a list of recommended resorts from TUG postings.

H
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Old April 19, 2012, 08:58 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathpack View Post
We exchange through II and some of their resorts have enough II member reviews to be helpful- this is on their website. Mostly I check TUG reviews and google the phrase BIG GLITZ REVIEWS or whatever the name of the resort is followed by the work "reviews." Mostly this gets me TripAdvisor reviews. I also keep a list of recommended resorts from TUG postings.

H
Where are there reviews on the II site?
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Old April 21, 2012, 10:02 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzykool View Post
I agree wholeheartedly! I call myself a hotel snob, and I'm not ashamed of it. But I also respect those that don't place as a high a priority on some of the things you mentioned as well.

My question to you would be what methods of research do you use to gather your options. Clean, modern, updated and views are my priorities as well. I would like to go to the Caribbean this year and I almost feel like I won't enjoy it as much if I don't select the right resort with the type of room that I will be comfortable in.

For me this message board has been very helpful, along with TripAdvisor and the Flyer Talk Forum also. I'm wondering if there are other helpful resource methods that I am not aware of.

How about you?
So I do not have any single source that is my ultimate reliable go to resource. That said, I utilize many of those you cited above but with a suitable degree of judgment. Given the very conversations in this thread it is clear that people value many different things, so you also have to read reviews "between the lines" to a degree, to discern if the traveler posting the review shares your perspective, has similar standards, priorities and expectations to yours.

TUG and Tripadvisor, or any site, cover a wide range of traveler preferences ( not to mention possibly unscrupulous ratings/reviews manipulations).

In any event, I also value Conde Naste Top lists and also a site called FamilyVacationCritic.com which I think gives great insights from a largely family oriented crowd of reviewers. I also love to find pictures....Oyster.com is a great site, if the resort you are interested in is covered. They post organized independent travel reviews and lots of pictures that are not the stock resort photos (that may have been taken right after a refurbishing, but not updated in many years) so you can really see what the place looks like.

I have also found YOU-TUBE to be a great resource for finding videos of resorts and rooms uploaded by travelers. You would be surprised the things people spend time making videos of...

Again, none of this is necessarily just timeshare oriented...just researching resorts and hotels ( timeshare of otherwise) in general.


Otherwise, I also jsut go with the "google BIG GLITZ HOTEL" approach suggested by another poster as well.
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Old April 22, 2012, 10:13 AM   #33
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Resorts: DRI gold Ocean Beach Club Virginia Holiday Inn Club Vacations
We look for a few different things:
1) Season we travel
2) Location we want to visit
3) We love photography so places and things to photograph are important
4) Resort with unit size and amenities we want
5) Activities nearby for days we want to relax
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Old April 25, 2012, 03:31 PM   #34
izzykool
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I just added a new research tool that I had forgot about. I have trust AAA ratings to be on par with what I like, so recently I have been going to their website and looking up various hotels just to see what type of rating they are giving and that has helped tremendously.
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Old April 25, 2012, 03:45 PM   #35
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My first priority due to health issues is that it be a no smoking resort. Skin and eyes start to burn and head gets cloged up real bad. One resort we checked into was so bad, we turned in our keys and checked into a hotel for the week.
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Old April 25, 2012, 04:19 PM   #36
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For us, the unit size (number of bedrooms, square footage, kitchen size, etc.) is the biggest factor. We had a bad experience being cramped in a very small 2BR unit on one of our first timeshare stays (as contrasted with a 2000+ sqft 2BR unit with vaulted ceilings in Hawaii for our very first timeshare stay), we're a family of 5, and we're used to a large house.

A distant second would probably be the quality of the resort (or at least the unit we'll be in). We could care less about ornate decorations, an elaborate lobby, or things like that, but good soundproofing, comfortable beds, well equiped kitchens, jetted tubs, grills and a nice pool are very desirable features for us.

Third would be our effective price for the exchange, including the exchange fees, the maintenance fees for whatever we used to exchange, parking and other fees. We don't like to pay more than $200-300 per week for a low-end resort, $400-500 for a fairly nice average one, or $700-1000 for a one of a kind resort (DVC, Harborside at Atlantis, NYC, or top Hawaii resorts). (And we're often able to do much better than that.)

Ratings and reviews (both from RCI and TUG) help us determine the sizes and features and any hidden costs, and the general ratings will be a tiebreaker. We like to get the best possible resort for the price and features.

Location usually doesn't matter much to us. We're usually pretty mobile. On any Hawaiian island, we'll drive all over the island and seldom visit the same places more than a couple times per trip. Beachfront would be nice, but we don't really care. If we have something specific (like an upcoming tip to Vegas for a conference, Disney trips, NYC), location will be more important.
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Old April 25, 2012, 04:29 PM   #37
e.bram
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Resorts: Surfside resort(MA) 3 weeks OceanCliff I&2 (RI) Newport Overlook(RI) 2weeks
Oceanfront, Oceanfront, Oceanfront and driving (5 hrs or less)distance from NYC.
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Old April 25, 2012, 04:41 PM   #38
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Quote:
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We had a bad experience being cramped in a very small 2BR unit on one of our first timeshare stays (as contrasted with a 2000+ sqft 2BR unit with vaulted ceilings in Hawaii for our very first timeshare stay), we're a family of 5, and we're used to a large house.
2,000 sq feet? Where was this?
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Old April 25, 2012, 05:39 PM   #39
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2,000 sq feet? Where was this?
Ka'eo Kai in Princeville, Kauai. The top floor units have vaulted ceilings and HUGE wraparound balconies. I think some of the units are up to 2120 sqft.

It totally spoiled us. INCREDIBLE first timeshare stay.

We've stayed at higher rated timeshares in Hawaii (and have several others coming up this year) but Ka'eo Kai has remained our favorite.
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